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The pneumonia severity index PSI or PORT Score is a clinical prediction rule that medical practitioners can use to calculate the probability of morbidity and mortality among patients with community acquired pneumonia.Fine MJ, Auble TE, Yealy DM, Hanusa BH, Weissfeld LA, Singer DE, Coley CM, Marrie TJ, Kapoor WN. A prediction rule to identify low-risk patients with community-acquired pneumonia. N Engl J Med. 1997 Jan 23;336(4):243–250. PMID 8995086
Development of the PSI The rule uses demographics (whether someone is older, and is male or female), the coexistence of core morbid illnesses, findings on physical examination and vital signs, and essential laboratory findings. This study demonstrated that patients could be stratified into five risk categories, Risk Classes I-V, and that these classes could be used to predict 30-day survival.
Data Source for Derivation & Validation The rule was derived then validated with data from 38,000 patients from the MedisGroup Cohort Study for 1989, comprising 1 year of data from 257 hospitals across the US who used the MedisGroup patient outcome tracking software built and serviced by Mediqual Systems (Cardinal Health). One significant caveat to the data source was that patients who were discharged home or transferred from the MedisGroup hospitals could not be followed at the 30-day mark, and were therefore assumed to be "alive" at that time. Further validation was performed with the Pneumonia Patient Outcomes Research Team PORT (1991) cohort study. This categorization method has been replicated by others and is comparable to the CURB-65 in predicting mortality.
Usage & Application of the PSI The purpose of the PSI is to classify the severity of a patient's pneumonia to determine the amount of resources to be allocated for care. Most commonly, the PSI scoring system has been used to decide whether patients with pneumonia can be treated as outpatients or as (hospitalized) inpatients. A Risk Class I pneumonia patient can be sent home on oral antibiotics. A Risk Class II-III pneumonia patient may be sent home with IV antibiotics or treated and monitored for 24 hours in hospital. Patients with Risk Class IV-V pneumonia patient should be hospitalized for treatment.
The PSI Algorithm The PSI Algorithm is detailed below. An online, automated PSI calculator is available on the US AHRQ website.
PSI Derivation and Validation Data Note: % Died refers to 30-day mortality.
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